Our partners

Tartu Science Park

Tartu Science Park Foundation (TSP) is a non-profit, non-commercial technology development and business support organization established in 1992 by the Tartu City Government, Estonian University of Life Sciences and University of Tartu. Its main objective is the creation of a favourable environment for the emergence and development of technology- and knowledge-intensive businesses. Currently there are around 80 companies working at the TSP premises.

Tartu Science Park has participated in and led innovation and business development related EU projects more as 10 years. We are moving in the beginning of 2020 to new joint campus together with University of Tartu Economic and Information Technology faculties and are launching at the same time our deep-tech incubation program. We are one of the co-organizers of the biggest business festival in the Baltics – sTARTUp Day and key player in the sTARTUp Tartu ecosystem.

Tartu Science Park has been responsible for development and implementation of local and regional RIS3 strategies since 2003. Our latest contribution in this field was development of Smart Specialization Strategy for South-Estonia which covered six South-Estonian counties (~25% of national territory & population).


Tartu Science Park Foundation
Sihtasutus Tartu Teaduspark
181A Riia 
50411 Tartu, Estonia

Ingrid Hunt, Project Manager
E-mail: ingrid.hunt@sciencepark.ee

Information about the RIS3 of the partner region:

Regional level document: „Smart Specialization Strategy for South-Estonia” (May 2014)

Key challenges for innovation policy

Major issues for South-Estonia in the context of innovation policy include: how to compete for talent and resources, especially with capital and other major gravity centers; how to benefit economically by using the maximum potential of R&D competence centers and universities which offer very strong scientific bases for innovation; and how to enable and promote access of local products-services to export markets considering the small size of the home market. 

Smart Specialisation areas in South-Estonia

Smart Specialization areas that were selected on regional level for South Estonia are: 
  • ICT and electronics;
  • biomedicine and health services
  • wood industry (in particular wooden house construction)
  • food industry (especially dairy and functional foods). 

Main objectives of the RIS3

The main objective for both national and regional level smart specialization strategies is to increase the level of innovation in entrepreneurship. A sub-objective is to focus on sectors which have the highest growth potential and where investments into R&D can create synergies between companies and R&D actors such as universities, clusters, technology development & competence centers.


The Smart specialisation measures at the national level (142 million euros) are divided between two ministries - the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (https://www.mkm.ee/en) and the Ministry of Education and Research (https://www.hm.ee/en).
The funding is divided between five actions:
  1. Technological development centres and clusters 
  2. Startup Estonia program 
  3. Demand side policies measure 
  4. Applied Research measure
  5. Specialisation Scholarships measure

Additional funding is available and assigned from different EU programs & regional budgets. At the regional level, the respective Smart Specialization Strategy does not have a fixed funding mechanism. Currently it’s being financed through different EU projects and contributions from the major regional authority - Tartu City Government.

Information about the RIS3 monitoring of the partner region

In Estonia, the national principles of smart specialization (SS) and its implementation has been developed since 2012. During this period priority areas have been developed, their electoral process has been analyzed and a number of other analyses have been carried out.
Estonian national RIS3 steering committee’s focus is right now on further analysis and monitoring of the growth areas and supporting the development of the growth areas. The goal is to improve the effectiveness of SS policy-making activities and monitor the progress of growth areas and plan RD and innovation policy measures for the period 2020+.
In the coming years Estonian national RIS3 working group is developing the version of the RIS3 monitoring system.